The situation of glbt christian people in eastern Europe and the case history of Metropolitan Community Church (MCC)
Abstract of the report of Florin Buhuceanu* (Romania), Conference ‘LGBT people and Christian churches in Europe: fears and opportunities for full acceptance and inclusion’, Rome, June 10th 2011
In Romania and in other countries of Eastern Europe, LGBT community is directly affected by silence and invisibility.
The regular Opinion Public Polls show constantly that LGBT is one the most despised minority group, while the intolerance against homosexuality is practically high in almost all social environments. Most of their anti-gay rhetoric is shaped by religion.
The anti-gay violent manifestations are becoming better and better organized, transmitting a clear signal: ‘homosexuals’ do not belong here.
In Romania, the freedom of assembly in the case of LGBT (the Pride events) needs constantly to be protected through a significant presence of police forces with guns, police dogs, police helicopters and heavy equipped cars. Usually, each participant to the gay march is to be protected by approximately 3-5 policemen.
This is the context in which we operate, and this is the reason why Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) decided to establish a human right foundation in Romania to become the main public speaker on faith, religion and sexuality.
We do understand that LGBT rights are fundamental human rights, and should be protected and advanced as such.
We are among very few public actors that understand that sexual injustice cannot be separated from other types of discrimination based on grounds such as age, gender, ethnicity, disability, HIV positive status.
Our role is to be an alternative to the dominant culture in the absence of any other spiritual alternative, to offer resources on religion and sexuality, and cooperate with local LGBT groups in Romania, Republic of Moldova, Ukraine and Russia.
* Florin Buhuceanu is a Romanian human rights activist and a member of Metropolitan Community Church (MCC). He is coordinating the Eastern European program of MCC and functions as the Executive President of ECPI – Euroregional Center for Public Initiatives, a human rights foundation supported by MCC.
Florin Buhuceanu’s formal or informal leadership ensured the success of many of the civil society’s legal advocacy projects in Romania, from the adoption and implementation of the anti-discrimination legislation, preparation of the first Gay Pride, to the blockage of discriminatory and harmful provisions against women in the field of sexual and reproductive rights.